Saturday, 10 December 2011


Day 2 Tuesday 25 October 2011 Grinton to Keld 14 miles (water day)          

It had obviously rained heavily overnight and it looked very grey when we got up. However, by the time we were setting off it had cleared up considerably and we had a good day with some sunny spells and good visibility. When I did the coats to coast a few years ago, we had bad weather on the day from Keld to Grinton, and hence took the low route, so I was pleased that the weather was good enough for us to do the higher route this time.  

Musical Sheep
Our route took us initially downhill to Reeth, where we stopped at the bakers to buy some fruitcake. From there we had a pleasant walk near the river, before arriving at Healaugh. We then went past a hall and some woods. Some confusing information in our guidebook (The Herriot Way by Norman Scholes) led to us spending some time in the woods, until we just followed the map instead and soon picked up the route out of them. A pleasant path then took us uphill until we reached a small road at Surrender Bridge. Time was going by, but we made fast progress on the next stretch, climbing uphill on a track to Level House Bridge where we stopped for lunch. We were passed on this track by some vehicles full of men, who then stopped at a couple of shooting huts, presumably to eat as there was soon smoke coming out of the chimneys. Grouse shooting is obviously a very popular sport in this area.      

Barney Bear At Barney Beck

Surrender Bridge

Our route now was across the tops of the moors, where there was plenty of evidence of old mining works. Straight ahead lies a steep drop down, to Gunnerside Gill, on the other side of which we could see the path climbing back up the other side. We ignored the sign posted path, and then we ignored the cairn marked path, as the guide book said to follow the side of the valley round before dropping down. This we did, only to find when we arrived at the suggested point for descending that the way down was very steep indeed. We eventually picked up a bit of a path to get down on, but then spent some time trying to work out where the path was on the other side of the gill, and how to cross over. 

Gunnerside Gill

We eventually got ourselves over and found the path on the other side, but it would have been far easier to ignore the book, take one of the main paths down and then cross over at the bridge. Fortunately, after this the route was easy going, and we regained the moor top, before dropping down past the ruins of Crackpot Hall and then into Keld, for our latest finish of 6pm.
View From Bunkhouse.

At Keld we stayed at the Park House bunkhouse, next to the campsite. This turned out to be an excellent place to stay, and was effectively a self-catering house. It sleeps 9, but there was only us and one other man in, who was doing the Coast to Coast. We had pre-ordered food, our lasagne and chilli with rice was brought over to us from the main house, and we then spent the evening in the comfy lounge area, drinking bottles of beer bought from the main house.        

Day 2

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